Brides & Tanning

As any self tan fan knows, nothing beats a coat of golden colour for a boost of body confidence, so it makes sense that many brides will treat themselves to a flowing tan for their big day. But with a pure white (or ivory) dress, and hundreds of photos being taken, your bridal tan requires a considered approach. Here are my top tanning tips for a perfectly bronzed and beautiful big day…

Professional vs Home Tanning. As a spray tan therapist I would of course always advise having a professional spray tan. Make make up artists are now trained in spray tanning so it’s a good idea to check with your artist if they offer this service, or know of anyone they could recommend. From my experience, weddings are all about word of mouth – a happy bride will tell her friends so ask around if you are nervous.

If having a spray tan isn’t an option, don’t panic. There are plenty of products available in today’s market that will allow you to tan yourself.

Have a tanning trial. I try to ensure that I do not tan a bride for her wedding unless we’ve had a trial – if you want the best tan possible that fits exactly what you want then trust me, you can’t just wing it two days before. Applying a self tan requires skill, and if you book a spray tan make sure you book someone who has the ability to listen – not every spray tan therapist has this and believe me I’ve heard of some absolute disasters! I usually apply a spray tan on my bridal clients prior to their hen do, that way they have a tan around all of their friends and most importantly, in pictures. Using pictures is a great way to work out what day is the right day for application.

wedding preparation

Photo by Terje Sollie on

Consider the shade of your dress. Lighter fabrics require less tan on the skin – but they can also make the skin look washed out if there is no colour on it at all. If you are choosing to not get married in a light colour and opting for a darker tone – I recommend taking your tan deeper, you can afford to play around much more. A deep tan with darker coloured garments look much healthier in appearance.

Prepare your skin. Clients often ask me if exfoliating really makes a difference – yes, yes it does! Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and excess dry skin and creates a soft and even surface – which results in a perfect final tan. Exfoliating also helps with the tans fade, as the skin naturally sheds the tan will fade evenly, due to it being applied to an even layer in the first place.

I also recommend tanning after showering as it results in a deeper, more hydrated tan. Skin should be makeup and deodorant free and the body should be free from moisturisers – ensure you do not use an oil based shower cream too as these all act as barriers to self tan absorption which can lead to streaks.

Do not apply self tan for two weeks prior to application, this way when you do self tan the final colour will be immaculate and polished – just what you want.

Schedule your tan. How far in advance you tan depends on personal preference, but on average I would say 2-3 days prior to your main event. I find self tan’s optimum colour is day 2. Remember to think of your bridal party and of course your other half – are they tanning too?

Think about your footwear. After you’ve applied your tan and during the tan development time on the skin, try to avoid all footwear types and stay barefoot. If this simply isn’t possible, avoid flip flops and aim to use a loose slider or gladiator with nothing too tight. If you’re wearing socks after – roll down the top of your socks so the elastic isnt tight around the ankles. Do not wear Ugg boots after tanning!!

Tan your groom. Get him in that tanning booth with you! Failing that, tone your tan down a notch so you look like a duo.

Maintain your tan. Post-tan and pre-wedding it’s all about tan maintenance. Use lots of aloe vera based moisturiser to keep that skin soft and stop any tan cracking. Do not swim, no massages, no facials, nothing that will make you overly sweaty, no saunas and no exfoliating.

Honeymoon tanning. If you are travelling a day or two after the wedding just top your tan up with some self tan!

Thanks for reading.

Danielle x

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